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Bahrain to focus on cutting costs while not curbing investment

By Jay Jackson, New York State News
10 Feb 2019, 09:54 GMT+10

DUBAI, UAE - Bahrain is to undergo a series of cost-cutting measures to shore up its ailing economy.

The tiny kingdom, which borders Saudi Arabia, is on a quest to balance its budget by 2022 and has already introduced measures which saw a stunning 35 percent reduction in the budget deficit last year.

Bahrain is under the hammer from its neighbours Saudi Arabia and the UAE, together with other neighbouring Gulf countries who together provided a five-year $10 billion aid package last year.

One of the conditions of the funding was to reduce the deficit.

It is very important to ensure we maintain spend where that spend drives economic growth, creates jobs or provides essential services or subsidies, Bahrain's Sheikh Salman bin Khalifa Al-Khalifa, Minister of Finance and National Economy, said Saturday in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Dubai.

While at the same time ensuring we revisit any areas of operational expenditure where we can put more pressure.

Al-Khalifa is in Dubai for a meeting of Arab nation finance ministers. He was appointed as head of the finance and national economy ministry in December. He was previously the chief-of-staff for the Bahrain crown prince.

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